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LEARNING NOT TO BE IRISH

LEARNING NOT TO BE IRISH

I now understand that Clive headed, with undisguised brutality, the group which plundered the Indian Sub-Continent. The echoes of Empire which surfaced in the EU Referendum carefully selected a picture of a benign regime where indigenous peoples were extras. We were fed a distorted and highly abridged version of reality. My primary school teacher, if he knew, failed to point out that Wolfe had perfected the bayonet technique during service in Ireland where he helped to subdue restless natives. Scots will be aware that he also saw service with Cumberland at Culloden. Had I known those facts then, I would have better understood why the British Empire was coloured red on our classroom World map.

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ENDURING DIGNITY

ENDURING DIGNITY

L.Alex Wilson (pictured) was a 6’3” newspaper reporter who covered the admission of nine black students into the segregated Little Rock Central High School ; attacked and beaten by a brutal, white mob he walked on, picking up his sombrero whenever he fell, intent on doing his job as a newsman; the following morning , his report of the ‘Little Rock Nine’ appeared in the Tri-State Defender ;

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DON’T BLAME TEACHERS

DON’T BLAME TEACHERS

There will be an inquiry into the handling of the crisis and already anxious cabinet ministers , stalking corridors of power, are sharpening their knives and considering which back will prove the most convenient recipient. My money is on the scientists landing the role of fall guys.

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An Earlier Epidemic

An Earlier Epidemic

Liz and I were two years into a three year contract and thoroughly enjoying the experience in this rural, boarding school. Our first child, Caoimhe, had been born six months earlier and we were deeply conscious of the risks to her. Local medical facilities were fairly basic, as the picture of Liz at the clinic shows. For long periods there was no doctor in residence and there were only two trained staff. We had travelled forty miles through the bush to an American Baptist missionary hospital for Caoimhe’s birth because it had a doctor and nurses on site.

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THE BEST AND THE WORST OF IT

THE BEST AND THE WORST OF IT

The management of the Coylumbridge Hotel and Tim Martin of Wetherspoons are graduates of the Gerald Ratner Business School. This morning Martin was arguing on BBC R4 that the virus was not being spread in his pubs and the instant eviction of young European workers in Aviemore ,following their contacts being abruptly and summarily terminated, will earn its own place in history as a notorious text book PR disaster. I could go on about the Cheltenham Festival but I think we all recognise the combined obscenity of class and money, both Irish and English.

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Whiskey and the Bar

Whiskey and the Bar

  A braw bottle of whiskey (with an ‘e’ for it is Irish) crowns our kitchen pelmet ; we’ve solemnly sworn not to hear that ‘brrrp’ of it being uncorked until either Ireland is united or Scotland is independent. (It’s whiskey, not whisky, as the latter evaporates

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